December 31, 2006

Hitchcockian Indian thriller

“Imprint” Redefines Native Women in FilmChris Eyre’s latest production, Imprint, is not an “Indian” movie.

Yes, it does take place on a reservation and includes Native cultural and religious references. Yes, it does have Indians playing Indians and the requisite unlikable white guy. It has all those things. But Imprint is not an “Indian” movie. At least, not by conventional thinking. And that’s to Eyre’s and director Michael Linn’s credit, as they have redefined what we’ve come to expect of a film depicting Native America and in this case, women in Native America.

Starring Tonantzin Carmelo, the film is a suspense thriller in the Hitchcock mold—otherworldly forces, evil in disguise, and regret leading to redemption. Most significantly, Imprint’s biggest imprint is its portrayal of women; neither victims nor backdrops, they are the force and soul of the entire story.

1 comment:

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Which is too bad that writerfella cannot but relate the basic plot of his sci-fi thriller, ANASAZI, as the screenplay still is under option with the most recent optioner being the Kennedy-Marshall Company. It purposely is designed to contain no stereotypes, as have all of writerfella's properties involving Natives heretofore. There is a strong woman's role in the screenplay. Though she is Caucasian, she has the reincarnated soul of an Anasazi woman, and the Mandan main hero Nathan BigHawk has the reincarnated soul of the Anasazi man who was her lover. And we find what happened to the Anasazi people 800 years ago, very much in keeping with H.P. Lovecraft's Chthulu Mythos. In fact, the story as constructed is writerfella's homage to STAR WARS, believe it or don't. Over the time that the screenplay has stayed in circulation in the film industry, writerfella continually has honed and updated its contents to match current history and Native existence, with a similar attention paid to contemporary popular culture. In one scene, two anthropologists, a 'science for its own sake' white male and the aforementioned strong woman character, are lost in the Four Corners area as they look for a particular canyon where a purported Anasazi grave has been located. Finally, she exasperatedly hands the map to her male companion as she cannot make heads or tails of it. "You try to find where we are. This damn map was made more for engineers than for scientists." And the man looks it over, peering at it closely: "Um, looks like...Brokeback Canyon." She looks at him askance and he says, "Oops, that's...Brokeneck Canyon. Sorry. The print's a little small." And they laugh.
ANASAZI never could be an Indie Native film because it calls for a huge amount of CGI special effects that are integral to the story as written. But the Native roles within it are equal to the non-Native roles, no doubt at all. And the story is based on authentic Native legends and knowledge, as well as the most up-to-date info about the Anasazi themselves. Maybe 2007 will see a company buy it outright for production. At least, writerfella can state that it NEVER has been sponsorless in all the years it has been in circulation. Hope, a hope, a hope, a hope...
All Best
Russ Bates